The hits just keep on coming — so much excellent music rolls out each week that it can be hard just to keep up. In 2011, Bon Iver, Wilco, Raphael Saadiq, The Decemberists, Gillian Welch, Tinariwen, Elbow, Tom Waits and Fleet Foxes all met high expectations. Shabazz Palaces, James Blake and Wild Flag dropped highly anticipated debuts that lived up to the advance buzz. Charles Bradley came out of nowhere, stripping his heart and soul bare on his debut album (No Time for Dreaming) at age 61. And legendary funk guitarist Dennis Coffey descended from cloud nine and a 20-year hiatus to lay down some wicked new original tracks.
In 2011, even with more outlets than ever for discovering and sharing new music, it's nearly impossible for even the most dedicated music lover to keep up. So, if the following five acts didn't pop up your radar in the past year, here's a perfect opportunity to catch up.